Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rose Pricing Quick Break Down

1. Pruning back in Dec/Jan to get 200 million roses to grow, cut and ship in Feb

2. Growing, watering, fertilizing 200 million roses

3. Harvesting, packaging, logging those roses by size and color

4. Shipping to Miami from South America one way, paying round trip fares.

5. Shipping from Miami to all locations in US.
6. Wholesaler receiving, inventory, reselling to retailers.

7. Retailers receiving, cutting, watering, storing, & arranging roses then delivering.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Pantone Color : Greenery

Apple, Avocado, Grass, Granny Smith, Artichoke...just a few names that come to mind when looking at this color.  (Yes, I am writing this close to lunchtime- hence the food names)  Green can be a great platform for colorschemes when it comes to weddings.   This particular shade will accent and brighten many colors including purples and pinks.

Purple + Green

Pink + Green

And even Blue + Green

There are many different color combinations beyond what I posted here.  This is just the beginning.  
I am really excited to see this fun and vibrant color incorporated into weddings this year!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Poison Lilies and other dangerous (and safe) plants

Is it poisonous?  Florists are often asked the toxicity of certain flowers and blooming plants, especially around the holidays.  While we cannot guarantee the level of nausea you or your pet will feel after consuming decorative flowers and plants, we can give you a list of toxic and non-toxic plants:

Poinsettias are the #1 blooming plant to be given at holiday time in December.  It's also the #1 misunderstood plant.  It is NOT poisonous, however, eating any part of this plant or any other plant will likely make you nauseous to a certain degree.  Also the yellow cluster in the center is the actual "flower", the colorful bracts are not.

Although kissing under the mistletoe is still a very popular custom, you should never eat it.  Mistletoe is poisonous to humans and animals.   It has greater complications for pets, even if it is a dried version of the plant.  As a florist, I never carry fresh mistletoe for liability reasons.   Holly plant and berries have a similar toxic effect on pets and humams and should be kept out of reach.

Another seasonal favorite in December is the Amaryllis. Amaryllis is in a genus or group of similar flowers with names like "Belladonna Lily" and "Jersey Lily" named for their lily-shaped petals.  It is not part of the actual Lilium family but is related to Easter lilies in the Hippeastrum family.   It usually considered more toxic to pets as humans are less likely to try and consume the flowers or the bulb.  The bulb of the plant contains higher concentrations of the chemicals that cause complications in pets.  

Christmas Cactus:
This colorful plant blooms in December and is NOT poisonous.  It would be a good choice as a gift when safety is a prime concern.  

However, any fiberous plant material is not going to agree with any pet or human, and will usually cause stomach irritation /or nausea, but will not be life threatening if the plant is considered Non-toxic. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Florists' Holiday Wish List

The inspiration for today's quick blog is from my own experiences in my flower shop.  So many times when I am waiting on a customer, they will remark that I must be hard to shop for.  Being a floral designer, my husband can't simply send/bring me flowers for my birthday or any other special occasion.  So what do I want instead?  

Beyond my normal response to my customers ("Wine, chocolate & jewelry- ha ha") there are things that I especially crave after a long brutal holiday:

1. Shoes with additional supportive inserts that don't look like crocs.  Skechers tends to make more trendy work shoes, some even with non-skid soles. 

2. Hand lotion/repair cream. The good stuff.  Even as I type this my hands are already the texture of fine grit sandpaper.  Shaping Christmas trees made from various PVC is extremely rough on one's hands. Cold, dry weather and constantly dealing with water are also big factors.   Pine sap is SO HARD to get off completely that I give up halfway to Christmas and deal with "pitch hands"...black smudged, sticky, and pine-fresh smelling.  

3. Massage Therapy.  Enough said. 

4. A clean car.  Vacuumed especially.  I never have time for this between business and kids and sports so it is especially appreciated. 

5. Dinner out.  Anywhere.  A few years ago we had dinner at Burger King on Valentine's Day because the restaurants were absolute madness and I was too exhausted to cook and he was working late.  I honestly was so happy to sit down to eat my food instead of over my design table that it was great. 

I'm sure I could think of a few other items but this is the top of my list.  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Being Thankful

It's Autumn.  Fall leaves, pumpkin spice, sunflowers, wheat and other fun flowers fill our cooler on a daily basis.  We are surrounded by Halloween decor in the stores followed swiftly by Christmas decor.  Sometimes the Christmas comes to shelves prior to Halloween (!).  Anyway, the point is that Thanksgiving is getting overlooked like the middle child in a family of holidays.  This is sad.  Let's change that!

Be Thankful what is good in your life. If you have a tough time with finding something to be thankful for- the fact you are alive and breathing should be a good place to start. Life is short.  We, as florists, help others express their mourning through flowers every day.  We read the obituaries every day.  We travel to funeral homes to place flowers on top of and inside of caskets.   Florists have a healthy sense of mortality and are pretty happy to be alive.  You should be too-  So let's celebrate that!

Buy flowers for yourself!  Decorate your dinner table with a few choice blooms or an elegant centerpiece.  Dot the table with votive candle holders with a single small blossom for each guest to take home with them.  I did a variation of single stems of multi bloom alstroemeria for my dinner table one Thanksgiving- easy peasy!
Spread the happiness to someone else- everyone LOVES flowers.  Even just one stem of daisies can brighten someone's day.  This Thanksgiving make sure to bring flowers for your host or hostess.  It need not be something elaborate.  Just a few stems for them to enjoy after the festivities is all it takes. The gesture is always more important then the gift.  Let's be Thankful this November!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Flower Ordering 101

First time ordering flowers? Not sure what to send?  This is a quick guide to help you navigate the flower shop:


Send flowers for no reason.  
Take flowers home on a Friday "just because".  
Always sign the card. Always
Ask the florist to help you pick the best flowers in stock that day.  
Tell the florist if there is a favorite color or flower you would like to incorporate
Have all the important address information ready when placing the order
 (street address and phone numbers), we operate just like the post office in that regard- no address no delivery.  
Call/Order ahead.  We can get just about any flower in with enough notice.  But they do have to be shipped from other states or countries, so please, give us as much notice as possible for special requests. 
Save yourself the aggravation and call a real florist, with a real address in the city you would like the flowers delivered.  

Send red roses unless you have exchanged "I love you" verbally. 
Send flowers anonymously.  It sets off "stalker alarm" and "stranger danger" panic mode.  It may also backfire on you.  Trust us. 
Use discounted websites with paid ads like "Only $19.99!"  "FREE same day delivery!".  They are not florists.  They take your money and turn around and call us, the REAL florists, to fill the order. AND they keep that whole "delivery charge" for themselves.
There are probably more but these are the basics

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Casket and Urn (Memorial) Flowers - a quick guide

It happens to us all at some point in our life.  We have to pick out flowers for a loved one's service.  Whether it be a parent or spouse, it is usually something we do not think about until it happens to us. 
Hopefully this will help answer any questions when you find yourself in this situation. 

What do you need to order?  It depends on what type of services you are having and your relationship to the deceased.  If you are the spouse, son, daughter, or immediate living next of kin (brother, sister)
then the flowers for the casket or urn are most likely your responsibility.  

Casket Flowers 
There are flowers for caskets, whether they are open or closed.  Casket sprays come in "half casket" and "full casket" sizes.  "Half" is 3' miniumum in length, is usually ordered to be placed on the lower half of the casket during family and friend visitation hours, then moved to the center during services at the church or graveside.  "Full" is typically 5'-6' in length, to cover most of the casket lid, and is ordered when the casket is remaining closed for all visitations and services.  Casket Sprays are designed in "casket saddles", the saddles come from various manufacturers and are made to sit on top of the casket, not slip, and be easy to transport.   

Special circumstances: 

Military- If there is a flag on the casket- you do not place flowers on the flag or casket.     Standing flower easel sprays to be at either side or both sides are ordered. 

Infant/Child- Have your florist contact the funeral home directly to obtain measurements.  Infant and Children's coffins are relative to the age of the child, and will not require the same size flower arrangement/casket spray.  (There was one occasion where it was a still-born infant and the casket was the size of a shoebox.  I donated the flower accent for the "casket" out of pure empathy for the mother, I have two small children and those are the orders that always make me cry and hug my two just a little closer every night) 

Double Caskets / Couples casket- Again, have your florist contact the funeral home directly for measurements.  Usually this style of casket will require a "Full" casket saddle to achieve proper width, not necessarily to achieve length.   Again, this style is unusual but I did design a casket spray for a couple that died in a fire and wished to be buried together. 

Cremation/Urn Flowers
  Until I took a back door tour of a funeral home in  2001, I had no idea that "urns" came in every shape, size, color, and composition imaginable.  Most "urns" look nothing like an urn vase.  The most popular cremation urn is actually a very nice square wooden container, sometimes with an engraved plate on the front or top.  No matter what style of urn you decide on, there are many things to consider when ordering flowers.  

Size: What is the shape and color? Dimensions?  Will it be on any type of pedestal or just be placed on a small table.  Table dimensions?  

Style: Do you want flowers on either side of the urn (aka bookend style) ?

or all around?

Another option is for families to place pictures of their loved one surrounding the urn on a table, with one or two vases of flowers as an accent.  

There are many other options to help personalize the flowers for either the casket or urn, or even a memorial service which has neither casket or urn.   I have incorporated sports flags, golf clubs, baseball bats, fishing rods, etc into casket and standing sprays.  
I have hand carved Oasis floral foam into the shape of a dog, a tattoo gun, and acronyms.  These items add a personal touch that is comforting to the family of the loved one. 

A Note about Flower Availability
While we strive to meet every request to create beautiful flower arrangements and tributes, regrettably time is often not on our side.  Tulips go out of season, Flooding happens and wipes out crops in South America, Lilies continue to be stubborn and take 2-5 days to fully open some weeks. Death comes for every one, and rarely do you have advance warning. We too are not able to predict death and when we will need lilies to be open, tulips to bloom, etc.  When this happens, we try our very best to find adequate substitute flowers, either in the same style, shape, or color family.